CIVIL, Law Commission Reports

Recommendation as to time limit for oral arguments[1984]

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Law Commission of India Report No. 99

2.11. Recommendation as to time limit for oral arguments.

Having considered all these aspects of the problem, we are not inclined to suggest any rigid or mathematically precise time limits for oral arguments. It may be difficult to lay down any hard and fast rule for determining the minimum time for oral arguments in all cases. However, it should still be possible for the court to obtain, from counsel appearing on both the sides, an estimate of the time that may be reasonably required for oral arguments and to request counsel to adhere to that time. Such a course, coupled with an insistence by the Court on provisions contained in the rules as to the filing of a proper statement of case1 shall go a long way towards improving the rate of disposal, without seriously impairing the cause of justice. In this manner, the matter may be left to the good sense of the Judge who can, after consulting counsel, fix the time beforehand, keeping in mind the nature of the case and the issues to be argued. In fixing the time, the Judge can also bear in mind the fact that where the written arguments are well drawn, the time taken in oral arguments should not be very long, in the large run of cases. To suggest that half an hour is the usual limit would be going too far. But the dominant consideration should be to keep oral arguments within reasonable limits. We do not envisage any formal amendment of the law, but we recommend that such a practice should be evolved and constantly followed in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts.

1. See also para. 3.14, infra